Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Computer science

College of Engineering

 
Program description

The Department of Computer Science offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is a rigorous, highly concentrated curriculum of computer science courses. It includes advanced study in several important areas of computer science and provides a strong foundation in this discipline. Every course is taught by full-time faculty members who also serve as advisers to both undergraduate and graduate students.

The master’s degree program emphasizes continuing self-development of individuals currently engaged in science-, technology- and engineering-related fields. It prepares persons who have completed undergraduate majors in these fields for entry into careers in areas that use computing technology. Both the theoretical and applied aspects of computer science are emphasized in this program. The program offers courses in a wide range of areas in computer science, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and cloud computing, data mining, bioinformatics, and medical informatics.   

Career opportunities

Computer science (CS) spans the range from theory through programming to cutting-edge development of computing solutions. Computer science offers a foundation that permits graduates to adapt to new technologies and new ideas. The work of computer scientists falls into three categories: a) designing and building software; b) developing effective ways to solve computing problems, such as storing information in databases, sending data over networks or providing new approaches to security problems; and c) devising new and better ways of using computers and addressing particular challenges in areas such as robotics, computer vision, or digital forensics.   

Change of major requirements

VCU GPA of 3.0 or greater, with a minimum of 12 VCU credit hours earned. Completion of MATH 151 with a grade of "B" or higher, or placement in MATH 200. Completion of any two of MATH 200, MATH 201, STAT 212, all with grades of "B" or higher. Any of CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101, PHYS 207, or BIOL 151 and BIOZ 151 with grades of "B" or higher.   


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Computer programmer
  • Cybersecurity engineer
  • Data engineer or architect
  • Project manager
  • Sales engineer
  • Scrum master
  • Software engineer or developer
  • Software quality assurance and test engineer
  • Web or mobile app developer
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • College Professor
  • Computer Architecture Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Lead Software Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer/Scientist
  • Project Leader
  • Research & Development Engineer
Professional associations and resources
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of Computer Science
Building/room location:
401 West Main Street, Room E4225
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-0575
Email:
compsci@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Register for CMSC 255, 256 & 302.
  • Register for the highest level math you can.
  • Attend all SI sessions and seek tutoring.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Continue coursework in programming, math, chemistry, and physics.
  • Consider Accelerated Master’s, added at end of second year.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Consider short-term, semester, and year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Learn the historical and current events that have shaped cultures to which you have been underexposed.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Take ENGR 395 Professional Development & gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
  • Apply for internships, co-ops, and VIP Teams.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
  • Consider attending a national career fair (SWE, SHPE, NSBE) to gain exposure to more employers.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Attend or present a poster at a scientific meeting or conference.
  • Consider the Cybersecurity or Data Science Certificates for meeting upper level CMSC elective requirement.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Choose CMSC electives relevant to your preferred post-graduation opportunities.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit (Math, for example).
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Continue to explore cultures beyond your own through scholarly and recreational avenues.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the VMFA and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Gain practical experience through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Computer science

College of Engineering

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Register for CMSC 255, 256 & 302.
  • Register for the highest level math you can.
  • Attend all SI sessions and seek tutoring.
Experience Year 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Continue coursework in programming, math, chemistry, and physics.
  • Consider Accelerated Master’s, added at end of second year.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Consider short-term, semester, and year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Learn the historical and current events that have shaped cultures to which you have been underexposed.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Take ENGR 395 Professional Development & gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
  • Apply for internships, co-ops, and VIP Teams.
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
  • Consider attending a national career fair (SWE, SHPE, NSBE) to gain exposure to more employers.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Attend or present a poster at a scientific meeting or conference.
  • Consider the Cybersecurity or Data Science Certificates for meeting upper level CMSC elective requirement.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Choose CMSC electives relevant to your preferred post-graduation opportunities.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit (Math, for example).
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Continue to explore cultures beyond your own through scholarly and recreational avenues.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the VMFA and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
  • Gain practical experience through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.